Spring flow increased, Groundwater levels still low – July 2021 Hydro Report

Spring flow increased, Groundwater levels still low.
July 2021 Hydro Report


Welcome rains in May and early June have produced some recharge.  Spring flow from two Middle Trinity springs–Jacob’s Well and Pleasant Valley is shown in the hydrograph above.  These springs provide the baseflow for Cypress Creek and the Blanco River in western Hays County, respectively.  Spring flow has slightly increased even after the rainfall ended, which indicates that recharge added water to the groundwater system.

Current water levels at the Mt. Baldy Monitor Well–even with recharge from recent rain–are lower than those during the 2011 drought.
Water levels in the Burnett Ranches (ESD) Monitor Well are lower than in 2019 and 2020.

The measurements from area monitor wells show that recent rains haven’t generated enough recharge to replenish water supplies.  For example, the water level in the Mt. Baldy Monitor Well responded to rain events with short-lived 5-7 foot rises.  While it doesn’t have as long a period of record, the Burnett Ranch (ESD) Monitor Well shows a similar recharge response–rains boosted water levels but they have leveled off as recharge has slowed or ceased.  Thus far, area rainfall totals haven’t been enough to generate sustained flow in recharge creeks and water levels remain very low.

No matter what area agencies call their drought declaration, coordinated water conservation is imperative to preserve groundwater availability, spring flow, and water supplies.

Agency Drought Stage Date Declared Details
Hays Trinity GCD Jacob’s Well GMZ – 20% Curtailment
Remaining GCD – 20% Curtailment
Jun. 2021 Board Order, 6/3/2020
Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer CD Stage II Alarm Drought (20% Curtailment or more) Oct. 2020 Press Release, 10/9/2020
Edwards Aquifer Authority No Curtailment May 2021 Press Release, 5/7/2021

[Updated 7/6/2021]